February 18, 2010
Dr. Kim Finch, Principal
Stratford High School
1800 Stratford Avenue
Nashville, TN 37216
Dear Dr. Finch:
This is in regard to the incident that took place at the conclusion of the girls’ basketball
game between Stratford High School and Maplewood High School on February 12, 2010.
TSSAA requested and received written reports from the administration of both schools
giving their knowledge of the incident.
In reviewing all of the information and discussing the incident with administrators of
both schools, it is obvious that there are many differences of opinion as to what actually
happened. There are, however, some facts that can definitely be established and must be
dealt with. Those are the following:
1. An altercation took place between several Maplewood and Stratford High School
fans and Maplewood girls’ basketball players at the conclusion of the game. The
number of fans and players involved has not been determined.
2. The contest was held at Stratford High School and there was no security at the
site. The Principal from Stratford High School was present but was in the
hallway when the altercation occurred.
3. The atmosphere in the gymnasium was so bad after the altercation the decision
was made by the Principal to not play the boys’ contest.
4. It is alleged that one or more coaches were inappropriately involved. This is not
an established fact. There is an ongoing investigation which will include the
Metropolitan Nashville Public School central office staff and Legal Department.
After reviewing the established facts, the case is being closed in the following manner:
1. Since the Stratford High School administration had a contest that was not properly
supervised to insure orderly conduct, Stratford High School cannot host any
postseason basketball contest the remainder of the 2009-10 school year. They
cannot host any postseason basketball contests during the 2010-2011 school year.
This involves the girls’ and boys’ basketball programs.
Article I, Section 8 of the TSSAA Bylaws states the following:
All games shall be properly supervised to insure sportsmanlike contests.
The host school shall be responsible for providing sufficient security to
insure orderly conduct on the part of all spectators. Visiting teams shall
be accompanied by the principal or someone designated by the
principal. If the game is played on a neutral field and neither team is
designated as the host team, the competing schools shall share the
responsibility of providing sufficient security.
Member schools are responsible for the conduct of their own fans and
students at every athletic contest, regardless of where it may be held.
The coach and principal of each of the schools participating in an
athletic contest shall file a report immediately with the state office if
there is any unusual incident involving poor sportsmanship, during or
following the game, on the part of players, coaches, school
administrators, game officials or spectators.
2. Since the Stratford High School administration has not identified and disciplined
the fans involved, the girls’ basketball program is being placed on restrictive
probation for the 2010-2011 school year.
Article V, Section 4(3) of the TSSAA Constitution states:
Restrictive probation to an individual sport in an athletic program shall
result in removal from the tournament series and a fine of $1,000.00
During the period of restrictive probation, the girls’ basketball team will not be
allowed to enter the postseason basketball series.
3. The girls’ basketball program of Stratford High School is being placed on
probation for two calendar years from February 12, 2010. Article V, Section 4(1)
of the TSSAA Constitution states:
Probation to an individual sport in an athletic program shall result in a
fine of $500.00 annually.
4. Stratford’s girls’ basketball program is being fined a total of $2,000.00.
The TSSAA and its member schools believe strongly that the major purpose of athletics
at the secondary level is to be part of the total education program. A major part of this
purpose is to stress to everyone involved in your athletic program the vital importance of
sportsmanship. It is critical that all the people involved understand the major role that
they play and the role model that they can be for others.
We are requesting that you inform everyone in your athletic family that TSSAA will not
tolerate unsportsmanlike behavior on the part of anyone before, during, or after athletic
If you have any questions concerning this, please feel free to contact our office.
cc: Mr. Scott Brunette, Athletic Director, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools